Eleni Mandell – Afternoon (2004)

Posted by Green on July 28, 2019as

320 kbps | 104 MB | LINKS

Though Eleni Mandell has drawn comparisons to P.J. Harvey, Rickie Lee Jones, and Tom Waits (whose pal, longtime Hollywood club fixture Chuck E. Weiss, helped mentor her career), the young L.A. chanteuse has cut her own distinctive musical swath. After several forays into emotive cabaret, Mandell abruptly turned to traditional country for inspiration in 2003, winning accolades as the LA Weekly’s “songwriter of the year” in the bargain. Though more of the same might have been expected in the wake of that success, the singer instead boldly strips her often blues-inspired music down to its compelling, roots-bare core here. The potent combo of Mandell’s dusky voice and producer/lead sideman Joshua Grange’s guitar impart a rare, intimate presence to the singer’s stirring romantic quests and imbroglios. It’s less-as-more, boldly up close and personal. Mandell’s voice simmers seductively through standouts like the lament “Can’t You See I’m Soulful” and the daydream “Suns Always Shining” before boiling over with Chrissie Hynde sass on “Easy On Your Way Out” and the sexually playful “Dangerous.” Powered by timeless romantic themes and a lean evocation of American country and blues, it’s an Afternoon well spent. –Jerry McCulley

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